Best Family Car: Skoda Superb
Why it won...
When Skoda chose the Superb name for its family car, it was asking for trouble – but it knew what it was doing, because the big saloon has lived up to it brilliantly. It’s still our favourite family car this year, so now has four awards in this category in its bulging trophy cabinet.
What makes the Skoda so good is the effortless way it can turn its hand to almost any task, and that’s partly down to its TwinDoor boot. It allows the Superb to operate as either a saloon or a hatchback, which means it swallows large items with ease or allows you to access your luggage without forcing rear passengers to endure a blast of cold air.
There’s much more to the Superb than its nifty tailgate, though. Its vast cabin provides the kind of rear legroom usually reserved for luxury saloons, and the 595-litre boot is one of the biggest in its class. So whether you’re going on a trip to the local dump or a week-long camping holiday, the Skoda is sure to have enough space.
Mid-range SE models are tremendous value, but we think flagship Elegance trim represents the Skoda at its best; it includes dual-zone climate control, leather upholstery and touchscreen sat-nav as standard.
Whichever model you choose – and the range even includes the option of four-wheel drive – you’re guaranteed a high-quality interior, loads of equipment and a driving experience that will shame cars with much higher price tags.
Our choice: 2.0 TDI 140 Elegance
You don’t need to spend the £915 premium that Skoda charges for the more powerful 168bhp diesel, as the lower-output engine is easily up to the job. And Elegance trim is comprehensively equipped.
The Mondeo is still the best family car from behind the wheel. It’s also big inside and full of kit, and the latest range of engines is cleaner and more efficient than ever, so the Ford makes financial sense. We just wish it wasn’t so wide, because it fills a conventional parking space with little room to spare.
Space, quality, equipment and style: the new Optima has them all by the bucketload. Large Kias have generally struggled to convince buyers in the past, but it only took a short drive in the new saloon for our judges to realise that the company has finally cracked the family car class.
- 1IntroductionThe awards everyone wants to win are back as we name the finest models in 18 categories and crown our Car of the Year for 2012
- 2Best City Car
- 3Best SuperminiPeugeot has rediscovered its touch. The RCZ coupe has been winning awards and turning heads for the last couple of years
- 4Best Compact Family CarIt was always going to take something special to beat the Volkswagen Golf, and the new BMW 1 Series is exactly that.
- 5Best Family Car - currently reading
- 6Best Five-Seat MPVThe C-MAX has emerged from the shadow of the big-selling Ford Focus, and it deserves to take centre stage.
- 7Best Seven-Seat MPVThe SEAT Alhambra has made the MPV sector its own and after scooping the top prize last year, nothing in the past 12 months has been able to dislodge it from the top of the class
- 8Best Estate CarThe Skoda Superb Estate has scored a hat-trick of wins in the Estate Car category at our annual awards, and it’s going to take something seriously talented to knock it off the top step of the podium next time around.
- 9Best Crossover
- 10Best Compact SUV
- 11Best Large SUVIf the Discovery carries on at this rate, it will deserve an outstanding achievement award at our next New Car Awards.
- 12Best Hot HatchA fast Ford is back on top of the hot hatch pile, and having met the people behind the new Focus ST, we’re not surprised.
- 13Best ConvertibleThe best convertibles need to be as good with their roofs up as they are with them folded, and the Golf Cabriolet is exactly that.
- 14Best CoupePeugeot is back with a bang this year – although it never really went away.
- 15Best Roadster